Gardening Preparation in the Winter

With snow on the ground in Rochester, New York, it may seem odd to think about gardening at this time of year.  However, gardening is truly a year-long process, and there are always things to think about in order to prepare for a successful summer harvest.

  1. Have you thought about what seeds you want to plant this year?

If you had a bed of lettuce in 2020, it might be good to research spinach, kale, and Swiss chard.  These are all excellent cool-weather vegetables, perfect for the Western New York climate.  Peas, cauliflower, and cabbage are other great ideas to experiment with.

  1. Are there any maintenance issues to attend to?

Raised garden beds, birdfeeders, and other garden accessories can get worn out over time.  If you have a garage, bring smaller items inside, and inspect them carefully for any damage that needs to be attended to.  If you have spare time and are of the artistic type, I’d recommend applying a fresh coat of paint to items like birdfeeders, rain barrels, and more.

  1. Draw maps and plan, plan, plan!

Thinking about adding new parts to your garden, or subtracting from last year?  Now is the time to get a good mental image of how your garden is going to be designed, such that surprises are limited come springtime.

  1. Connect with other gardeners/urban farmers.

Still looking for advice?  Search Google, Facebook, and Twitter for groups dedicated to the art of gardening.  In Rochester, there is the Rochester Permaculture Institute (RPC), and the Rochester Garden Club.  Also check out New York’s vegetable planning calendar for recommended dates on when to plant your vegetables.

Now might not be the time to plant, but that time will arrive faster than you expect!  Hopefully, these tips will be seeds to success for your next gardening adventure.


Written by Dax Emerson, Class of 2021

Photo Credits: John Bogna on Unsplash  

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